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Here are some of the companies that came through this month. You can see that there was a personality who pulled me into the conversation. What kept me interested was the underlying idea. Pay attention to this group.

Each week, I talk to five or six startups and consume their demos.  Over the years, I’ve learned that success in HRTech is a combination of the founder’s personal characteristics and the technology. There are plenty of examples of the fact that extraordinary technology is not a necessary component for success. At the same time, breakthrough tech gives a small advantage.

Here are some of the companies that came through this month. You can see that there was a personality who pulled me into the conversation. What kept me interested was the underlying idea. Pay attention to this group.

  • Count It Labs
    Founder and CEO Oliver Ryan was central to the Knight Ridder push to online employment advertising. The current project, CountIt is a wellness oriented integration of wearables to create competitions on both an intra and inter mural level. Competitions can be set within the company or between companies. Count It makes it easy for any company to implement an enterprise-class healthy living rewards program.
  • Job Market Maker
    Joe Hanna sails out of the port of Charleston. His startup, JobMarketMaker sits in the growing nest of HRTech firms dotting the Charleston countryside. The latest product, EngageTalent, is an automated tool for identifying and nurturing relationships with passive candidates based on a prediction of their availability.
  • OneModel
    Chris Butler was a part of the Australian InfoHRM team (the original provider of HCM Metrics purchased by SuccessFactors many moons ago). After years of toiling in the SAP gardens, he moved to Austin to start OneModel. At its simplest, OneModel is a data integration play. The company takes a client’s assorted piles of HR data, cleans them and makes access repeatable. I’d bet on a short life of independence followed by an acquihire.
  • Phenom People
    This is the deepest stack of technology to ever hit HRTech. More organism than program, this assemblage of Machine Learning intelligently posts jobs, monitors traffic, develops on the fly personas, custom tailors content by job hunter, ranks resumes, integrates online behavioral data, adjusts candidate rankings to recruiter behavior, learns and adapts. The most visible demonstration is the DeLoitte US Employment site. Industry stalwart Ed Newman is the VP of Client Services.
  • Plenarium
    Tom Janz is one of the most senior Industrial Psychologists in the industry. For decades, he’s been the source of a prodigious output of creative ideas. His core passion is trying to realize the actual available through assessment. He’s the first to tell you about the acres of wasted paper and dollars in assessment. Managers get reams of unintelligible advice that they never use. The company’s products are a variety of approaches to unlocking the implicit value of workforce insight.
  • Remesh
    The original idea behind Remesh was to design a tool that made conversation between warring factions (in a real war) possible.  The underlying theory is that all of the individual voices in an organization can be summed up into an intelligible voice. CEO and Founder Andrew Konya imagines building a conversational framework for countries to talk to each other in spite of the conflict. They are positioning the product as a way for management and the workforce to talk to each other. Instead of a tightly controlled flow of individual questions and answers, Remesh delivers a fluid and coherent representation of the underlying mind of the organization.
    SMD blends employee survey techniques with advanced statistical modeling to identify direct causal relationships between the state of the workforce and tangible business results. Founders Scott Mondore and Shane Douthitt believe that predictability and accountability are the essence of the impact that HR should have. Imagine deep Industrial Psychology, cutting edge math and a penchant for simple explanations.

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